"Think about it this way…maybe there was a reason you came here. Call it what you will: fate, destiny…luck. Whatever the reason, maybe it was because you were suppose to be with him."
"Would you turn around please," I did as he said. "Thank you…"
Crab tried to peek around from behind the Ringleader.
"Hey!" the Ringleader said, hiding his work. "No peeking!" Sandman laughed.
"Don't disturb the master while he is creating," he said, throwing a grin to Crab. Crab rolled his eyes.
A while longer and the Ringleader's pencil stopped moving. He looked down at his creation, a smile growing on his face. He looked back up at me.
"I think I have just the thing for you, dear," he said, closing the sketchbook.
"Can we see it?" Donnie asked, taking a step towards the Ringleader.
"Not just yet. I don't want you to see it until it's complete," he said, smiling playfully.
"Must we really wait that long?" Donnie said, tapping his foot.
"Must you really be so impatient?" he replied, glaring at Donnie. Donnie scoffed.
"Artists…" The Ringleader ignored him and turned a bright smile to me.
"I'll need to take some measurements," he started. "Do you mind coming back to my
studio?" I sent a nervous glance to Benzedrine. He nodded, encouragingly.
"A-alright," I responded. He led me towards the back of the store, towards an old fashioned door. The boys tried to follow. He turned around to look at them.
"Sorry boys, this is where we take our leave," he said.
"Why can't we come back with you?" Crab asked.
"Because women are a sensitive breed," he looked at me, "No offense,"
"None taken," I responded shrugging. He had a point.
"And they don't take to kindly to men knowing their sizes," he said.
"Besides, I can't have all four of you hovering over me. I need my space,"
"I understand completely," Ben added.
The Ringleader opened the door for me. I hesitated, looking back at the four boys. I just got adjusted to them and now I was going to be caught in a room with a new stranger. I was a little afraid, to be honest.
"Come now, love, I don’t bite," he said, flashing me an encouraging smile. I had to admit, his smile was contagious and I had to smile back. I walked into the room before me and the Ringleader followed, closing the door behind him.
The room looked like fashion threw up everywhere. Sketches and stray pieces of fabric were covering the place. There were mannequins scattered about along with rolls of fabric, spools of thread, and pencils. It was cluttered, but also looked quite organized, if that's even possible. The room was lit with only natural light that gave it an organic feel. It was more incredible than the store itself. It felt like a home. It felt like a piece of him.
"I'm sorry, this place is so messy," he said from behind me.
"Are you kidding me? It's beautiful," he walked a bit closer, giving me a puzzled look.
"Yeah," I said looking up at him. "It feels like home," he smiled.
"To me, it is home," he said, proudly. "Shall we begin?" I nodded.
He led me to a platform and began taking my measurements, taking them down in a notebook. He was quite most of the time, but I didn’t mind too much. He was concentrating and it gave me some time to think about everything that had just happened.
"So…" he said, interrupting my thoughts. "It seems Dr. Benzedrine has taken an interest in you," he spoke casually.
"An interest?" I didn’t completely see where he was going with this.
"Yes," he said, writing down the measurement, "He hasn't taken his eyes off you since you
"Yeah, right, how do you know?" I was skeptical.
"When you know someone this long, love, you can know what they're thinking without them telling you," he closed the book and looked up at me.
"We've only just met…"
"It only takes a moment for you to realize it's meant to be," I raised my eyebrow.
"Meant to be?" I said, sarcastically. What did this have to do with anything?
"Yes," he walked over to a rack of fabric, leaving me on the platform. "You see, Allie, love is different in our world," he turned back to me, holding up a strip of fabric to test its color on my skin, "It's quicker, more spontaneous," he shook his head and continued to search for the right color, "It's a lot less work here,"
"Like love at first sight?" I raised an eyebrow, as he held up another piece of fabric.
"Precisely!" He looked at me, a smile on his face. "Love is not clandestine, Allie, it's not meant to be that way. Your world has a tendency to complicate things…Perfect!" he said, clutching a strip of sparkling black fabric. "This will look perfect with the design," he said, more to himself than to me.
"But what if I don't feel the same way? And I’m from another universe, you know. And all I should be focusing on is going home. And it wouldn’t ever work!" I ranted. “Why would I even bother?”
"You just proved my point," he said, laughing a little. "You're complicating it,"
"Well what do you expect me to do?! I just fell through a television into another universe with a possibility of never getting home and you think I should just fall in love with the first guy I meet here? Love is the least of my worries right now, sorry," I said frustrated.
"Ah, but I believe Mr. Sandman was the first guy you met here," he said smirking.
"That's beside the point!" I yelled in annoyance, but he only laughed.
"I'm just saying, if you have the possibility of never getting home…why not explore your options here?" he grinned.
"You're unbelievable," I said, slightly disgusted.
"No, I'm helpful," he said, smiling softly. "Think about it this way…maybe there was a reason you came here. Call it what you will: fate, destiny…luck," he winked when he said that. "Whatever the reason, maybe it was because you were supposed to be with him." He offered me his hand and helped me down.
“You do understand why this hadn’t occurred to me, right?” I asked.
“Yes, I understand. I’m just saying that you two have something…even if you don’t see it yet,” he
put his hand on my shoulder.
“If you say so…” I said, softly, just wanting to end this.
"Will you just think about it, please?" he asked. I took a deep breath and nodded.
“Sure,” I sighed.
"Promise?" he reiterated.